Steamboat’s Katie Lindquist wins national philanthropy award
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — When Katie Lindquist jumps on the back of a bicycle, she expects to win.
“Most of my awards have been for competitions where I know that I’m in it, and I’m trying to win it,” Lindquist said. “This is humbling because this is somebody else’s outlook on you, a population of people’s outlook on you, or admiration of you or praise for what you are doing, or what we are doing with the Tour de Steamboat.”
Truth is Lindquist didn’t even know she’d been nominated to be honored on National Philanthropy Day — a program created and promoted by the Association of Fundraising Professionals that celebrates the contributions of outstanding donors, volunteers, businesses and foundations.
So, when Lindquist learned she was one of 11 honorees that will be celebrated for their commitment to philanthropy at the National Philanthropy Day in Colorado luncheon, she was a bit skeptical.
The luncheon will take place Nov. 9 at the Seawall Grand Ballroom in the Denver Performing Arts Complex.
“I thought it was a joke. I expected there to be someone on the other end of the phone saying, ‘Hey you have won something, so call this number and give us your credit card number,’” she remembers thinking. “So I said I’m going to have to call you back.”
She said she had to do a little vetting but was thrilled to discover that this organization and this award were for real.
“I had been nominated for the Hazie Werner Award,” Lindquist said. “I didn’t get the award, but they took the application and the letters they had collected and used it for this other award — a nationally recognized award that they could morph into a nomination for this award.”
Nearly 800 community members are expected to attend the celebration, according to a news release put out by the organization. Lindquist is being honored as Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser.
“It’s a big honor. It’s a national award that is recognized at the state level for volunteer fundraising,” Lindquist said. “The Tour de Steamboat is 100 percent volunteer. I feel like I’m the figurehead as the co-director and the founder of it, but boy, it’s a chip-in event. If we didn’t have volunteers, including myself, it would not happen.”
The Tour de Steamboat was established in 2005 and has enjoyed steady growth. Last year, the event raised around $92,000 and nearly sold out.
Lindquist said the event is a grassroots effort that recruits the talents of its four beneficiary groups including the Routt County Riders, Partners in Routt County, Yampa Valley Sustainability Council and Reaching Everyone Preventing Suicide, to make it a success.
Each of those groups raised $22,000 to support causes in the Yampa Valley. The group then meets and selects a pay-it-forward beneficiary group to give the remaining $4,000.
“We ask the beneficiaries to take a pot of money and give it to somebody,” Lindquist said. “We want them to take some of their money and give it away, so that they get the gift of giving.”
Lindquist gave special credit to Abi Slingsby, who is a co-director of the event who splits her time between Steamboat and Durango. She also cited the board of directors that, in addition to Lindquist and Slingsby, includes Patti Lindquist, Tyler Jacobs and Stuart Handloff.
She said the group is already busy working on next year’s tour, which is expected to be bigger and better.
To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209, email jrussell@SteamboatPilot.com or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966.
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